I have just spent three days at a friend's house in Paris, and the street markets were full of fresh mushrooms. It occurred to me that button mushrooms are the most cultivated species, and you can get them fairly easily and at a more comfortable price. So I decided to try a simple creamy mushroom soup that is quite affordable and easy to make. I also made the soup in a French style, hence using butter instead of my usual olive oil cooking method and added a little cognac. I tried the soup both hot and cold and liked it both ways. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Test Kitchen Notes
The word "velouté" In French translates to "velvety," and that's exactly what this savory mushroom soup is. It's also the same word for a French sauce made with roux and stock, but this time, it refers to a soup that is traditionally thickened with egg yolks, butter, and cream. Most versions nowadays, like this one, are thickened with just butter and cream. It's definitely one of our favorite ways to use button mushrooms, and it's comfort food at its finest. It's also elegant enough to serve at any dinner party or celebration. The best part is that you have to slice only 12 of the mushrooms; the rest are puréed, so you're not spending all night chopping up mushrooms. For the most pure white look, be sure to use freshly ground white pepper so you don't see black specks, but if you're not worried about that, feel free to use whatever option you like. It's also important to wash the mushrooms as thoroughly as you can to get rid of the sand and blemishes—again, to keep the final result as decadently white as possible.
The developer of this recipe noted that she also tried the soup with some freshly made white bread croutons, but they were a little bit too overpowering and the soup lost its "finesse," so it's best to eat the soup on its own for the best experience. You can always serve with crusty bread alongside. Also add cooked chicken, turkey, or duck if you have some to use up. —The Editors
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 50 minutes
- Serves 6
fresh white Paris or button mushrooms
fresh lemon juice
medium yellow onions, sliced
(or more) milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Wash the mushrooms very well under running water. Transfer to a large bowl filled with water and add the lemon juice. Let sit for 30 minutes. Wash the mushrooms again, making sure there's no sand attached and removing any blemishes.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the cognac and cook, stirring, until the mixture no longer smells of alcohol. Add the mushrooms and milk. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove 12 of the mushrooms, slice them, and set aside. Stir the cream into the soup. Using an immersion blender (or working in batches using a regular blender), purée the soup until smooth and velvety. If it's too liquidy, let simmer for 10 more minutes. If it's too thick, add a little more milk. Stir in the sliced mushrooms; season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the soup among bowls and top with the parsley. Serve hot or cold.